Dr. Jackie O. Wilson, Director of the Delaware Academy for School Leadership (DASL) participated on two policy level panels at the January 26-27, 2013 convening of state policy leaders sponsored by the National Governor’s Center for Best Practices’ Education Division. The NGA Center for Best Practices’ Education Division provides information, research, policy analysis, technical assistance and resource development for governors and their staff in the areas of early childhood, K-12 and postsecondary education. The division is currently focusing on a number of key policy issues relevant to governors’ efforts to develop and support the implementation of policy, including: birth to 3rd grade access, readiness and quality; the Common Core State Standards, STEM and related assessments; teacher and leader effectiveness; turning around low-performing schools; high school redesign; competency-based learning; charter schools; and postsecondary (higher education & workforce training) access, success and affordability. The division is also working on policy issues related to bridging the system divides between the early childhood, K-12 and postsecondary systems.
The focus of the January conference was on the topic of Connecting Teacher and Leader Effectiveness: Policy Considerations Around Measures of Effective Teaching and the Preparation and Training of School Leaders to Evaluation and Support Effective Teaching. In attendance were state policy leaders from various states and US territories including: Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Connecticut, North Carolina, Mississippi, Hawaii, Iowa, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. The purpose of the meeting was to provide opportunities for state policy leaders to learn from national experts on topics related to measures of effective teaching and the preparation and training of school leaders to evaluation and support for effective teaching.
The first panel discussion that Dr. Wilson participated in was titled Principal Licensure: A Powerful Policymaking Tool focused on the use of state licensure authority to maintain and renew a license for improving the quality of instructional leadership among principals. Dr. Wilson discussed the extent to which Delaware has used initial state licensure opportunities and requirements as well as continuing education to maintain and renew a license for supporting state and district needs, particularly around evaluating and enhancing teacher effectiveness. She also discussed how licensure requirements act as a mechanism for preparation program accountability.
During the second panel discussion, experts discussed how state policy can be used to position principals, throughout their careers, to have adequate knowledge, skills, and time to improve teaching and learning across their schools. Specifically panel members discussed how principal effectiveness is evaluated, developed, and supported and how that contributes to the evaluation and support of teacher effectiveness. Panelists engaged the state teams in a discussion to help them think about how to produce and full system of leaders with the training, technical expertise, and field experience to address human capital management challenges around teacher evaluation reform. Dr. Wilson highlighted the principal evaluation reform in Delaware and connections to the other aspects of human capital management. She also provided recommendations for state actions and cautions to consider when developing a state system to measure principal and teacher effectiveness and the role of the state in building district capacity to do the work to build a cohesive system to support teaching and learning.